Middle school national champ Leitten steps up to Fort Mill’s varsity wrestling team

mbanks@comporium.netNovember 25, 2013 

Fort Mill wrestlers Jake Strong, left, and Tyler Turner look for a take down opportunity during practice.

MAC BANKS

— The Fort Mill High wrestling team will have holes to fill to start the season.

Despite returning seven wrestlers from last year, the varsity squad still has vacancies in the lineup and it’s something head coach Chris Brock has to figure out before the opening dual meet Dec. 3 at Charlotte Latin.

“We have got some shoes to fill and we will fill them the best we can,” Brock said. “We lost a few from last year, some good ones.”

One of the better wrestlers gone from last year is Nick Leitten, who is now wrestling at Limestone College. However, coming back for the Jackets are Tyler Turner, BJ Hurst, John Brotemarkle, Jake Strong, Nigel Bostick and Eddie Byrams.

“We should be solid in the lower weights (106-152),” Brock said. “We are just trying to figure out the empty holes. I feel like we got nine or 10 guys that can score a lot of points.”

Fort Mill will have Hurst wrestling at 195 or 220, but Brock is still trying to figure out the starters at 160 all the way to heavyweight. One newcomer – in age only – is freshman AJ Leitten, a national champion and younger brother of Nick. The younger Leitten has been through the youth and middle school programs nurtured by the high school staff Jackets wrestlers.

“We have a good group,” Brock said. “We have a lot of kids that can qualify for state.”

Fort Mill, which enters the season fifth in the state at 4A in the preseason rankings, will open the season on the road. The first dual home meet is 5 p.m. Dec. 4 against Clover as part of the Main Event, one of the biggest fundraisers for the Fort Mill wrestling program. The 5 p.m. start is for the middle school wrestlers, with the JV and varsity matches to follow.

This year’s Main Event will cost $8 to attend, which gets you two slices of pizza, a drink and chances to win prizes. Prizes include printers, trips, gift certificates to restaurants, a Kindle and the grand prize, an iPad. Tickets can be purchased in advance from wrestlers or at the door.

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